THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, UPDATES, WHITE PAPERS & BUSINESS RESOURCES
Program & Project Management: Measure and Analyze the Right Data to Answer the Right Questions
Reporting and analysis is a key component of an effective store development strategy. Program and project management software enables you to collect and mine data to support key business decisions – but how do you know if you are collecting the right data?
Simply having access to the data does not necessarily give you the insight required to effectively manage your business. We’ve all experienced reporting for reporting’s sake – and received reports and analysis that did not take into account the issues the business needs to address or the opportunities available.
So how do you avoid this pitfall and ensure you are collecting the right data and engaging in insightful analysis?
Start by Asking Key Questions
Before you start creating reports, take a step back and consider what data will provide the information you need – and how it needs to be presented to provide true insight and value to you and your whole organization. One way to help better understand what data is relevant, is to ask some key questions.
Some questions to consider include:
- Who is the user? — Who will utilize the information and how will they use it?
- Will knowing the information have a direct effect on the business? – All information is good but not all information should be weighted equally.
- Will knowing the information address fundamental issues you’re trying to solve for? – Are you measuring the right items and will that information assist in correcting the issue.
- Is the information accurate / current / on demand? – the information needs to come from the source data, have little or no lag time (I.e. it’s fresh) and you need to get that reporting on demand.
These questions will help you dig down and uncover what data and reports are vital to manage time, cost and quality and what degree of granularity is required.
After you’ve asked the questions and determined what reporting to develop, you now need to establish if you’re currently collecting the required information. If not, determine why, as well as what can be done to begin collecting it for future projects. Also, know your reporting audience – and know that volume is not always the answer. Quality definitely outweighs quantity in reporting, so really hone in on the reports that will provide the best insights to support your store development processes.
Here are some examples of reports that you should consider:
High Value Construction Reports:
- New Store Opening Report – Provides the overall view of openings by location for a given period of time. Typically the report covers a 12-month period, but you should consider developing a 15 to 18 month rolling calendar to better focus on workload, shifting dates and future resource needs. The report will provide at-a-glance the projected to budget sales weeks and other key metrics.
This report serves multiple purposes; it provides overall new development visibility for senior management, supports schedule and lead-time planning for internal departments that are affected by projects including operations, procurement, marketing, merchandising, HR, logistics, IT, etc. Lastly, it provides Financial Planning with visibility into capital spend and cash flow.
- Cost Reporting – Cost reporting can take on many levels of detail. The key is to determine the level of detail at which the PM’s, or those who are managing cost, can be most effective.
- All reports should be by Deal Type to provide meaningful comparisons
- Ground up, lease remodel etc.
- Then by:
- Company – providing holistic view across operating territory
- Region – providing a view within a geographic area of potential opportunities
- PM – providing individual results as compared to colleagues and the region
- Consider labor costs and other factors when comparing similar work in different geographic areas
- Overall Project Cost breakdown by:
- Division Level: Soft Costs, Construction and Procurement (FF&E)
- Then Category:
- Soft Costs (reports, environmental, A&E, Civil etc.)
- Construction (general conditions, concrete etc.),
- Site Work (onsite, offsite)
- FF&E (furniture, fixtures, décor, signage etc.)
- Then Budget Line Item: SIR, supervision, foundation slab, curbs/gutters etc.
- Cost / SF for building
- Clearly define what’s included in the building so that cost comparisons are meaningful
- In addition to SF costs in general, identify costs by prototypes if they are available to evaluate design effectiveness
- Cost Trend Analysis (By company, by region and PM across and all costs and by breakdown)
- Key on the information above to track trends
- Identify areas of opportunity in design, construction, resources, and means and methods
- All reports should be by Deal Type to provide meaningful comparisons
- Milestone Reporting – Milestones are defined as a series of tasks that when completed will achieve the milestone. There are many tasks that occur during a project and it’s important to identify which of that are critical and which are not.
- CBegin by developing critical milestones along the development timeline from a clearly definable point such as a Deal Approved and track through opening, project close out and 1 year warranty walk. For each of the critical milestones, develop a list of tasks required to achieve the milestone and the role that’s responsible for the task. Tasks are defined as activities that someone on the team must complete. For any given milestone there may be multiple team members performing various tasks. The culmination of all the tasks (critical and non-critical) is the achievement of the milestone.
- Che key measurement from this report is:
- Approved Baseline at a defined time (i.e. Deal Approval) vs. Actual dates. Reporting should further look at the delta between critical milestones to determine more specifically where deviations occurred.
- Change Order Reporting – This key report defines standard reason codes that allow the company to track and report on change order reasons and, most importantly, focus on the root cause and improvement plan. The report provides insight to the team’s estimate accuracy between the original budget and actual completion. Track both numbers and develop a percent range target that PM’s and regions should obtain.
- Develop reason code reporting based on predefined drop down list consistent across all regions
- Identify root causes for each of the root causes associated with change orders
- Target improvements based on major issues by region / by PM
- Establish targets by % – (+/-) against the original budget vs. final actual cost
- Track results by company, region and PM with emphasis on region and PM to better define regional and local root causes
- Quality of Deliverables (Punch List Completion) – Measurement of product quality / workmanship at delivery to operations. Develop punch list templates by deal and definable building types that are materially different.
- Number of punch list items at turnover to operations (based on bid documents) is the key measurement
- Provide the GC and other direct vendors a copy of the punch list identifying expectations at the project’s completion. This allows them to focus on those areas throughout the project.
- Scorecard Report – Establish key department metrics on a company, regional and PM basis (Typically driven around key measurable goals and performance targets
- Reports track overall department results at company, region and PM levels
- Update monthly from the software system to ensure accuracy
- All targets must be measurable within the software system
- Tie results to a stop light color chart based on the percent deviation from the goal
Identifying, collecting and analyzing the right data will provide the information required to uncover new opportunities and deliver practical business results. To ensure best practices, share reporting practices across all regions and compare global results – and hold monthly meetings to share what’s working and what’s not and solutions to common issues.
At Tango Analytics our Program and Project Management software is built to provide multiple levels of detail across milestones, soft costs, construction costs and FF&E as well as bidding, budgeting, PO and CO management and invoicing. Purpose-built, it goes a long way to satisfying the key requirements outlined above. The end-to-end solution provides users with the reporting insight to better manage their new development and remodel programs. The Programs feature allows management to see multiple programs in one report with current budget, commitment and spend data as well as the projects associated with each program.
Read more about our Program and Project Management solution by downloading the datasheet below.